The Teachers Have Something to Say: Lessons Learned from U.S. pK-12 Teachers During the COVID-impacted 2020-21 School Year | MIT J-WEL

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The Teachers Have Something to Say: Lessons Learned from U.S. pK-12 Teachers During the COVID-impacted 2020-21 School Year

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Description
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Authors

  • Natasha Esteves
  • Christopher Buttimer
  • Farah Faruqi
  • Aïcha Soukab
  • Raelee Fourkiller
  • Harley Gutierrez
  • Justin Reich
    Executive Director, Teaching Systems Lab; Mitsui Career Development Professor, Comparative Media Studies Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Description

To develop an in-depth, nuanced understanding of what teaching was like during the COVID-impacted 2020-21 academic school year, we interviewed 57 U.S. pK-12 teachers from across the country in public, charter, and private schools, at different grade levels, and in different subject areas. The primary message we heard from teachers is that they have not been valued as partners in designing our educational response to COVID. Specifically, the following three themes emerged from our interviews:

  1. Exclusion from decision-making processes is demoralizing to teachers, especially when combined with worsening working conditions and widening inequalities;
  2. Ignoring the concerns of teachers led to policymakers and school leaders advancing several seriously ill-considered ideas over the objections of practicing teachers; and,
  3. Teachers have developed a variety of effective instructional strategies in response to the challenging conditions of COVID. Delta is already disrupting school openings across the country. The school systems with the most effective approaches to pandemic schooling over the next year and beyond will be those that listen seriously to the concerns and insights of teachers and include them in design and decision-making.

Topics: COVID-19 Response & Resources

Licensing Information: All Rights Reserved